If a GP suspects fibroids, they'll usually carry out a pelvic examination to look for any obvious signs.

They may also refer you to a local hospital for further tests outlined below to confirm a diagnosis or rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.

Sometimes fibroids are only discovered during routine gynaecological (vaginal) examinations or tests for other problems, because they often do not cause any symptoms.

Ultrasound scan

One of the main tests carried out to diagnose fibroids is an ultrasound scan.

This is a painless scan that uses a probe to produce high frequency sound waves to create an image of the inside of your body.

2 types of ultrasound scan can be used to help diagnose fibroids:

Images produced by these scans are transmitted to a monitor so the doctor can see if there are any signs of fibroids.

If an ultrasound scan suggests you have fibroids, you may be referred to a gynaecologist (a specialist in the female reproductive system) for tests.


A hysteroscopy is where a small telescope (hysteroscope) is inserted into your womb through the vagina and cervix so a doctor can examine the inside of your womb. It usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes to carry out.

A local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic may be used so you will not feel any pain during the procedure, but most women do not need an anaesthetic. Some women experience cramping during the procedure.

A hysteroscopy is most often used to look for fibroids within your womb (submucosal fibroids).


A laparoscope is a small telescope with a light source and camera at one end. The camera relays images of the inside of the abdomen or pelvis to a television monitor.

During a laparoscopy, a surgeon will make a small cut (incision) in your abdomen.

The laparoscope will be passed into your abdomen to allow the organs and tissues inside your abdomen or pelvis to be examined.

General anaesthetic is used, so you'll be asleep during the procedure.


In some cases, a small tissue sample (biopsy) may be removed during a hysteroscopy for closer examination under a microscope.

Page last reviewed: 9 September 2022
Next review due: 9 September 2025